2012 has been a rocky ride for some of us, a blinding success for others. So what’s on the cards for 2013? And what can you do about it?
Niche your business
According to Emma Jones, the founder of Enterprise Nation (www.enterprisenation.com) and a respected small business expert, niches will be bigger than ever next year. If you can niche your business so it points at a highly specific set of prospects, dovetailing with their exact needs, you could be onto a winner.
Take your small business abroad
The same goes for going global as new and emerging technologies make becoming a micro-multinational a feasible and desirable aim for small businesses. Going global can be as simple as setting up on Etsy or Ebay or as complex as opening up a completely new presence or a fresh offering to target foreign shores.
If you can’t compete at home, is the competitive landscape clearer abroad? It’s worth thinking about and any number of businesses are springing up to help facilitate it. Take Ann Hughes (www.thevatlady.co.uk), the VAT Lady, whose import and export training puts small businesses in a good position to grow without falling foul of the scary tax and VAT man.
Stay small and beautiful
The face of the employment is changing fast too. Jones also predicts that more small business owners will aim for better turnover without increasing their headcount and staff overheads. There’s a growing movement towards outsourcing to freelancers, e-workers, home-workers and external consultants. An excellent way to keep your business nimble, fast and flexible, it also benefits the job market and the economy as a whole.
See beyond the gloom and doom
What does the government say? Typically gloomy, they predict dire times ahead with more cuts and growth bumbling along the bottom, either flat-lining or even – worst case scenario - shrinking. But there’s no reason why you can’t thrive in a steady economy, one that might not be growing but is managing to stand nice and still!
The banks? They’re flush with government cash, handed over specifically to lend to small businesses. But according to many, they’re still not lending. If you need working capital, investment or funds for growth why not try alternative lending? Or change banks? Or take the Squeaky Wheel approach and keep on at your lender until they tell you where to go or you actually get somewhere? Keep up the pressure and the dam might eventually break… we can only hope!
Tell a good story
The author Ian Sanders (www.iansanders.com) catches the tail of the Zeitgeist by predicting that more people will want to hear about a business’s values rather than how big and powerful they are. He joins a growing flurry of marketing folk who advocate the fine art of presenting the benefits instead of majoring on a product or services’ features, being honest, human, helpful and personal, putting trust at the heart of your marketing proposition. And it’s something everyone can do.
Hijack the new media and mobile revolution
Britain comes top of the world league for shopping online. We love it. Everyone loves video - the medium is causing a huge marketing splash. And according to research experts Gartner, mobile phones are set to overtake PCs by 2013 as the most popular way to get online. Can the mobile web deliver extra potential to your small business? Are you making the most of every online opportunity? If not, it’s time to get busy.
Online marketing is undergoing a seismic shift, mostly because of Google’s Penguin and Panda algorithm updates. We’re moving towards building communities and sharing exciting stuff, away from hard sells and traditional marketing. Can you zero in on niche markets via social media?
What’s your small business prediction for 2013?
We’d love to hear your ideas and share the with Curry Club fans. Feel free to leave a comment!